SEIU Locals Online

Bill Bumpus's picture


What is Locals Online?

SEIU's Locals Online program uses the Internet to support
organizing, bargaining, political action, community alliances, and
expanding members' voice on the job.

It will help SEIU affiliates carry out the resolution adopted at the
2000 Convention to use new technology such as Web sites and email to
improve communication with members, unorganized workers, and the

Locals Online offers a free, state-of-the-art Web site to every SEIU
local union and state council. It gives every affiliate easy-to-use
tools, model content, and training to set up and maintain dynamic Web

The Locals Online program will help affiliates:

  • Communicate more effectively with members.
  • Help workers organize.
  • Take action for working families.
  • Bargain better contracts.
  • Provide union leadership education and job training.
  • Expand members' voice on the job.
  • Reach out to community allies.
  • Get information on our issues to the media.
  • Speak with one voice with other locals.
  • Carry out the Division plans locals are jointly developing.

We will be stronger together -- when we are online together.

We already have a Web site. Why would we join Locals Online?

Locals Online was developed to meet many of the goals adopted at the
2000 Convention. By participating in the program, your Web site
administration can be less complicated and less expensive. Locals
Online provides content and tools to make using the Internet more

Locals Online also provides your local with Web site development tools designed specifically for local unions, including:

  • Easy-to-use Web design templates.
  • Features designed to help you communicate specifically with members, unorganized workers, the community, and the press.
  • Tools for organizing, political action, and contract bargaining campaigns.
  • A way to display contracts for viewing by members.
  • Model Web site materials, content, and graphics
  • Information on division campaigns and programs developed by SEIU International.
  • Training and support.

Working with outside vendors can be time consuming and frustrating.
In addition to researching vendors, and developing an RFP process, you
have to educate commercial vendors about the goals and priorities of a
union since most Web vendors have expertise in selling things, not in
organizing and advocacy. SEIU's vendor has built union-specific tools
and is well acquainted with the latest Internet strategies for
mobilizing people to act on behalf of progressive causes - including
working families.

Technology changes rapidly. A local with an independent vendor will
have to pay a lot to have new technology integrated into the site. A
local union participating in Locals Online will benefit from frequent
free upgrades made to the overall system. This tool is in its infancy
and will continue to grow as our local's needs grow.

Finally, since the system is easy to use, you can assign full and
partial administrative access to others in your local so they can
update relevant parts of the site on their own. That means
participation in the program provides local unions with a long-term
solution to the Web challenge, because it takes into account the
reality of staff changes over time. Site administration
responsibilities can be transferred to another person who also does not
need prior background in Web development technology. You can choose to
maintain your site with in-house staff or outside communications
consultants. Since the program is easy to use, you can use the funds
you may currently be spending on Web developers to hire a communicator
or communications consultant to develop content.

The SEIU Locals Online program will allow us all to share news,
information, and other data seamlessly across an integrated system --
and it's all free.